Paymentech Ramps up Corporate, Global Acceptance

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Paymentech, Dallas, is widening the payment processing options of BTB and global direct marketers with the recent launch of a new corporate purchasing card acceptance program and today's expected announcement that the euro and the Japanese yen have been added to its roster of accepted foreign currencies.


The addition of the euro and yen enables Paymentech's direct response unit to process MasterCard and Visa payments in eight currencies besides the U.S. dollar and American Express payments in seven, excluding the yen.


Processing payments in local currencies is beneficial to both the consumer and marketer, said Ed Byrne, group manager of sales at Paymentech. Merchandise can be priced and paid by credit card in the local currency while the payments can be maintained in a bank in that country and exchanged into dollars when rates are favorable.


Local currency settlement is available through an alliance with InterStream, a subsidiary of National Westminster Bank, London.


For BTB marketers, Paymentech accepts purchasing card payments with Level III sales and invoice information. The additional information included in a transaction includes freight and duty charges, product description, ship-to ZIP codes, unit cost, quantity and discount and replaces the need for paper invoices and the processing of checks.


Level III card acceptance enables BTB marketers to increase cash flow by receiving payments electronically in three to five days as opposed to 15-30 days for checks.


"Level III acceptance will enhance our business-to-business opportunities, said Tom McDermott, vice president of sales for Paymentech client, Wearguard, Norwell, MA. "Today, we have major buyers who insist on using purchasing cards to the extent that it determines their selection of suppliers.


The use of Visa purchasing cards grew 44 percent to $31.7 billion in 1998 and now accounts for five percent of total sales volume, according to the card issuer. Byrne attributes those gains to the rise of BTB e-commerce. But the use of Level III data is not yet widespread and Paymentech is conducting an awareness campaign with existing e-commerce and catalog clients who could benefit from the enhanced data.


Paymentech also has introduced an authorization recycling service that automatically resubmits a payment authorization request if the original request is declined. The service is applicable to marketers that accept payments on an installment basis or sell to consumers with low credit limits.


Paymentech has found that reauthorization attempts are accepted 30 percent of the time and that waiting three days to resubmit the request is the most effective cycle. Reauthorization prevent a marketer from having to resubmit the request themselves and allows orders to be held rather than canceled and require an outbound call to a consumer.
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